Everything Lions need to make the playoffs after losing to Panthers, explained


The Lions threw a wrench in their playoff hopes by losing to the Panthers but they can still make the postseason with some help.

Having won six of their last seven, with a singular loss by three points to the Bills, the Lions had to feel confident going into Saturday’s game against the Panthers.

Maybe they were too confident.

Carolina stunned Detroit by jumping out to a 31-7 lead early in the third quarter and ultimately handing Jared Goff and company a 37-23 loss.

That defeat doesn’t eliminate the Lions from playoff contention, but it sure makes the road to the postseason much more difficult. Now the last two weeks of the season may as well be do-or-die.

Lions playoffs scenarios: What Detroit needs to get in

  • Lions beat the Bears in Week 17 and the Packers in Week 18
  • Commanders lose two of three vs. 49ers, Browns and Cowboys
  • Seahawks lose to the Jets OR Rams

The simplest way for Detroit to get into the playoffs is to win their final two games.

Then they need the Commanders to lose two games in their final three. That’s not a terribly big ask considering they face the 49ers and Cowboys

On top of that, the they need Seattle to lose one more time after falling to the Chiefs on Saturday. They have the Jets and the Rams to finish the season, which is not ideal from the Detroit perspective.

There are scenarios in which the Detroit can lose to the Packers and still get in, but they’d need all of the rest of the aforementioned results, plus additional loses by the Buccaneers and Green Bay.

Current NFC playoff picture

  1. Eagles (13-1) -x
  2. Vikings (12-3) -z
  3. 49ers (10-4) -z
  4. Buccaneers (6-8)
  5. Cowboys (10-4) -x
  6. Giants (8-6)
  7. Commanders (7-6-1)

Left out:

  • Seahawks (7-8)
  • Lions (7-8)

Right now, Lions fans should be rooting against the Commanders and Seahawks while hoping their team can bounce back from Saturday’s embarrassing performance.

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